It’s Introvert Season!

October is such a beautiful month! We still have blue skies and some warm days, but there is a chill in the air, and rainy days are scattered among the sunny ones.

Autumn is also what I like to think of as “introvert season.” I find myself wanting to draw inside myself. I am drawn to read more, to journal more, and to engage with the outside world a little less.

To that end, I have decided to take October off from social media and from blogging.

A few days ago I deactivated my Facebook account (I almost never post there, but would check it several times a day), removed the Instagram app from my phone (although I may check in on my computer from time to time), and removed any other apps and links that had become time sucks for me.

I thought I’d miss those things, but honestly so far it has been liberating. Being online was beginning to feel like being constantly yelled at by thousands of people who were telling me what they think I should feel, think, do, or say. It was exhausting, and I was wasting so much time.

After only a few days of no social media, I find that I am able to focus better, I’m being more creative, I’m reading more, I’m journaling more, and I’m talking to real, live people (in small doses, of course)!

Part of the impetus for taking a month off was reading Brene Brown’s new book Braving the Wilderness. Her book made me think about true connection, and what role social media actually plays for me in truly connecting with other people. I highly recommend reading this book—it is relatively short, but it is packed with so much food for thought.

I will wait until November to do another 15 Quiet Minutes post, but in the meantime I highly recommend trying the last 15 Quiet Minutes practice, Tarot Prayers and Affirmations. I have been using this practice in the evenings and I am finding so much new depth in the tarot and in my prayer practice.

I have also recently posted some new rosaries to my Etsy shop to honor the Dark Goddess, whom many of us may find ourselves connecting with this time of year.

Lapis Lazuli & Owl Rosary

Black Obsidian and Labradorite Crescent Moon Rosary

Green Sheen Obsidian Pocket Prayer Beads (these have a beautiful green sheen in bright light)

I hope you have a wonderful October and a blessed Hallowmas/Samhain!

Celebrating Autumn Equinox: A Simple Ritual of Thanksgiving

My Autumn Equinox altar.

I feel like I could say that every holiday is my favorite one when it arrives, but this year I am especially excited about Autumn Equinox, which will be on Friday, September 22nd. It has been a long, hot, smokey summer, and the return of the autumn rains here in the northwest has me ready to cozy up on the couch with my knitting, my journal, and a good book to thoroughly enjoy the cool, showery weather. I’m already feeling the pull to turn inside myself as we enter this introspective season.

Autumn Equinox is also a time of giving thanks for what we have harvested in our lives so far this year, and I like to include a ritual of gratitude during my celebrations.

For this simple ritual, you’ll need a little bowl of some small item like dried beans, dried rose hips, rice, nuts, sunflower seeds, or a grain of some kind. You want whatever you use to be large enough to pick up piece by piece, so millet or quinoa might not be the best choice! You’ll also want a small jar or another bowl to transfer the items into.

You can do this as part of a larger ritual, or this can be your whole Autumn Equinox celebration.

Light a candle and cast a circle if you would like to. Or you could sit outside to do this ritual enjoying the sights and smells of autumn.

Take a few deep breaths and center yourself. Now, pick up one bean (or whatever you are using) and say something that you are grateful for, and transfer it to the other bowl or jar. Keep going until all your items have been transferred from one bowl to the other. You may have to get creative as you go on, depending on how many items you started out with, but it will help you remember all the things you are grateful for, even things you may not think of very often like having clean water flowing from your faucets, or the fan that kept you cool through the summer heat.

I keep this “gratitude bowl” on my Autumn Equinox altar, to help remind me of all the blessings in my life, and of all that I have harvested this year, big and small.

This year, I will also be adding a small jar of rainwater to my altar in thanksgiving for the return of the rains that have helped dampen the fires that have been burning here in the west, and have cleared the air of smoke. Blessed be the rain! Blessed be fresh air!

If you’d like, you can also do the Autumn Equinox tarot spread that I shared last year.

What seasonal changes are you seeing where you live? How do you like to honor the change in seasons from summer to fall?

May you have a blessed Autumn Equinox and a blessed fall!

An Autumn Afternoon by the River

It has been way too long since I spent time nature journaling outdoors, so I took advantage of the gorgeous day yesterday to do some sketching down by the river. I wasn’t really focused on making a beautifully composed page, but was just having fun drawing and painting whatever caught my attention.

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Sketching by the river

There was a flock of Canada Geese paddling and feeding on the river. Drawing something that never stops moving is always a challenge, so some geese came out better than others. Then some honeysuckle berries caught my eye. They are translucent red and were literally glowing in the sun—so beautiful!

I found the wild grape leaf on the ground near where I was sitting. Normally they just turn yellow in the fall, but this one was gorgeous in shades of gold, orange and magenta. A teeny-tiny spider marched across the table while I was sketching, so I added her in, too.

I saw a Pileated Woodpecker, which is the first time I have seen one in this area. They are always exciting to see with their magnificent red crests!

The sun was warm, there was a soft breeze, the river was splashing and singing as it flowed over the rocks, and I heard several large splashes in the water—could it be salmon coming home to spawn? It was a beautiful time to enjoy the world around me and forget about worry, and cancer, and the election (oh my goddess, the election!!!) for a while. A much-needed time out.

I wish you gorgeous autumn afternoons full of sunshine and peace, and maybe even a little sketching!

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The final page

(P.S. I just realized I dated my page wrong! It should have been the Oct. 9. Oops! I’ll have to fix that.)

October Transitions

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Can you feel the change in the air? October is one of my favorite months, but this year I’m really noticing how full of transition it is. One day is gray and rainy, the next is sunny and warm. Some trees are still mostly green, while others have completely turned red or gold. There are flowers that are still in full bloom, while others have already died back for the winter. The energy is fitful, restless, up-and-down, changing from one day to the next.

I feel the same way—restless, out-of-sorts, up-and-down. One day I’m still feeling the bright and active energy of summer, the next I feel the pull of the quieter, introspective energy of autumn. I’m finding it hard to focus, hard to settle down to any one project. Like the weather, I’m feeling a bit moody. One day I want change and excitement, I want to shake things up! The next I want to hide under a blanket with a book and ignore the world.

Outer transitions lead to inner transitions, outer changeableness leads to inner changeableness. We are so much more connected to the world around us than we sometimes realize. Are you feeling it, too? It can be a bit of a wild ride!

So to help me deal with all this restlessness, I’ve been making plans to give myself something to focus on as well as a couple of things to look forward to.

I have been feeling a bit disconnected spiritually, and wanted to challenge myself to refresh my spiritual practice. I decided that for five evenings each week during the month of October, I will turn off all electronics by 7 pm and spend time at my altar praying with my goddess rosary, then spend time in meditation. The rest of the evening I’ll journal, sketch, read, etc., but no phone, computer or TV. (I’m usually in bed reading by 9 or 9:30, so this isn’t such a long period of time as it might sound to those of you who are night owls!) I started this practice this week and I already feel more centered and connected to Goddess.

To give myself something to look forward to, I am planning to take Joanna Powell Colbert’s Ancestor Prayer Card class at the end of the month. I haven’t felt drawn to working with my ancestors in the past, but this year I am feeling a strong pull towards this work and am really looking forward to this class.

I also decided that I want to do Beth Owl’s Daughter’s Solstice Sun Wheel Prayer Circle this year (I’m really planning ahead with this one!). I’ve known about it for years, but haven’t participated before. This year the practice is really calling to me, and I’ve already ordered an advent wreath so I’ll be ready to go. I don’t know if she’ll be leading the circle again this year, but if not I will follow along with the posts from last year.

So, here’s to honoring the seasonal shifts and our own internal shifts as we move deeper into autumn! May it not be too bumpy a ride!